College & Career readiness classes: preparing students for the workforce


Stephen Kim and Lauren Guss

   College and Career Readiness (CCR) classes are additional classes offered to students to introduce and expand their knowledge on different career paths. “The Hart District has an amazing College and Career Readiness program to help students for what comes after they graduate,” Mrs. Kraidman, the West Ranch CCR specialist explained, “They have developed numerous pathways that give students a chance to explore various careers while earning high school credit, developing job skills, and helping guide and prepare them not only for college but for their career.”

  The different pathways offered include but are not limited to animal science, business, engineering, education, health science, hospitality, information and communication technologies, transportation, tourism and recreation, photography, public services and many more. These courses are offered during school or on an extended day scheduled after school hours.

  Mrs. Kraidman explained that “These extended-day CCR classes meet one or two days a week at various high schools in our district.” She adds, ”To complete a pathway, students take a set sequence of classes related to an area of interest. (It is like majoring in something in college.)” Each pathway has different classes within it to help students look into specific jobs in a field.

  Additionally, these classes are free and are offered on ZOOM to fit coronavirus guidelines. “Students receive several hours of live instruction each week from their teacher online and have the opportunity to collaborate and interact with their classmates. We have also been able to send home equipment and materials to our students for those classes that require hands-on learning,” Mrs. Kraidman said.

   West Ranch Principal Mr. Crawford noted, “These classes can give you a glimpse of what a specific type of career might be like. Is this something you even enjoy doing? Do you have a special talent in this area? These are just a few questions that can be answered in these classes. Plus all these classes can provide skill-building in a variety of areas that are important as you move on in life.” Mr. Crawford went on to say,My daughter had a great experience with her CCR classes and it strengthened her knowledge and desire to be involved in the medical field. She is now in college studying to possibly be a Cardiac Care Nurse.”

   CCR classes allow students an inside look into potential college majors while considering secondary learning. They assist students in their exploration, provide experience and prepare them for the jobs they are interested in. 

   Mrs. Villalovos, a CCR Allied Health instructor, said, “Some pathways also offer industry-recognized certifications that students may take with them once they graduate high school to help them get a job in that particular field upon graduating.” 

   According to Mrs. Kraidman, other benefits to the CCR program include:

  • Offers courses in a variety of occupations
  • Unpaid Internships
  • College and A-G Credits for some courses
  • Portfolio of Work
  • Help students make clearer choices about what their next steps after high school should be
  • Career & Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) participation,  including Cyberpatriots, DECA, and SkillsUSA
  • Develop employability skills and technical skills, including how to take what students learn in a classroom and apply it to the real world 
  • Help college-bound students define their career plans, identify an appropriate course of study, and help pay for tuition.
  • Gain not only a solid foundation in academics but also hands-on, technical experience, and know-how
  • Industry certifications available (e.g. Medical Assisting, Dental, Pharmacy, etc.)
  • Certificate of Completion documenting competencies and cord to wear at Graduation

   Students are highly recommended to take a CCR class, but not many do because of limited awareness of the program. However, if students learn about the benefits of these pathways and enroll, they can transition into college or the workforce with experience under their belts. 

   “I have a special insight since my daughter was involved and had a great experience. I wish I had this opportunity when I was in high school as it could have given me opportunities to explore different careers,” Mr. Crawford expressed. More information on CCR classes can be found on the West Ranch High School website. Make sure to check CCR classes out if you are looking for a way to dive into a career path!

   CCR registration is currently in progress. To add a CCR class, submit a request by clicking the link here: Click here to ADD a 2021-2022 Extended Day CCR Class. To schedule a chat with Mrs. Kraidman about beginning a pathway, click here: Click here to schedule a meeting with Mrs. Kraidman.